Assault and Battery

Kings And Regents Solicitors > Blog > Uncategorized > Assault and Battery

“ Wa gba mi leti kin dolowo ooo”
“ Wa gba mi loju kin dolowo ooo”

Whenever I remember the above song, I smile and always wonder whether people truly understand it meaning. We hear the song in our houses, in the clubs and even on the streets but not too many people understand the real message. Some would ask in disbelief, “How can you get rich through mere slapping? Is that possible? I want to tell you now without mincing word that it is possible to get rich because someone slapped you.

Do you know the civil wrong called assault and battery? Yeah, you heard me well!

What is assualt? Assault is the threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. It may also mean the act of putting another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of any immediate battery by means of an act amounting to an attempt or threat to commit battery.

The word battery doesn’t mean a car battery or phone battery. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, the tort of battery is defined as “An intentional and offensive touching of another without lawful justification.”
In the case of Dr. Rom. Okekearu v. Danjuma Tanko [2002] 15 NWLR [Pt. 791] 657, it was held that an act does not amount to a battery unless it is done either intentionally or negligently.

Therefore, a person will be committing battery when he deliberately slaps, hits, or throws an object at at another person without his consent.

Assualt and battery are civil torts and are actionable. A victim can sue the person committed assualt or battery against his person and ask for damages which is always a monetary compensation for the act done by the defendant.

With the above above explanation, can you now see I can get rich if you deliberately hit, slap or beat me?

Apart from bringing an action in tort, I can also bring an action under the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure on the grounds that you have violated my right to dignity of human person and I will be asking the court for damages ( monetary compensation). Of course, an application for enforcement of fundamental rights can also be brought against an individual. It was not designed against the police and other law enforcement agencies alone.

Please, take note that assault and battery are also criminal offences. I would like to share with you the provison of chapter 25 of the Criminal Code Act, which states as follows :

“A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without his consent, or with his consent, if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without his consent, in such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault”

“The term “applies force” includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance of thing whatever, if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort”.

What is the penalty for criminal assualt? Can a parent assualt his child? Can a teacher commit assualt against his students / pupils? These shall be our next discussion tomorrow. But before then, let me sing my song my song again. Oya, Mr. D.J, loud the music:

“… Wa gbami leti kin dolowo ooo! “
“ Wa gbami leti kin dolowo ooo! “

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